This weekly planning strategy is based on Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. “THE 7 HABITS” is a Registered Trademark of Franklin Covey Co. This post is in no way associated with nor endorsed by Franklin Covey Co.
How I Plan My Week
1. Review your Personal Mission Statement (create one if you don’t have one)
A personal mission statement gives you guidance in life. If you don’t already have one, make one. Review your mission statement weekly and adjust as necessary.
My Personal Mission Statement:
To find happiness, fulfillment, and value in living I will strive to:
Be happy and have fun; be a role model; always be part of the solution and not the problem; apologize sincerely when necessary; make a positive difference in the lives of others; be honest, sincere, empathic, and loving.
Challenge myself, try new things, and leave my comfort zone regularly; keep an open mind; continually grow and improve; strive for excellence; to always remember why I am doing what I am doing and to never get stuck in a rut.
Relax and enjoy the moment — remember to breathe and let go; have more “perfect days”. Memento Mori.
2. Identify & Review your Roles
Achieving “balance in life” isn’t about getting a 50/50 balance between “work” and “life”. You play many more than just 2 roles in life. You should devote time to all the roles you play: Individual, Father, Husband, Friend, Employee, Homeowner, Artist, World Traveler, Adventurer, etc…
Identify 4-8 Roles that you play in your life
- Father / Husband
- Family Member
- Employee / Entrepreneur
Review these roles weekly to make sure they are still aligned with what is important to you.
3. Identify and Review your longterm Goals
For each of your roles, define some long term goals. Think long term. What can you do for each of those roles that would make a significant difference in your life? Review these goals weekly to make sure they are still aligned with what is important to you. Ideally, most of the things you do an a day-to-day or weekly basis should get you closer to one of your goals.
Some of my Goals :
- Individual: Climb Mt. Kilamanjaro; Visit the ruins of Palenque.
- Father / Husband: 10 year wedding anniversary trip
- Family: Help my father lose 50lbs; Yearly trip to Poland
- Homeowner: Build a pool; Build dry stone wall
4. Identify Weekly tasks
For each of your ROLES (indentified in #2 above) identify some tasks that get you closer to one of your GOALS for that role. Identify at least 1 task per role, but avoid trying to do too much — I usually cap it at 3 tasks per role maximum.
- Individual: (1) Research VISA requirements for travel to Kenya; (2) Research recommended training regiment for Mt. Kilamanjaro climb; (3) Research estimated costs for trip;
- Father / Husband: (1) Buy flowers for wife; (2) Spend 1-on-1 time with daughter; (3) Start budget/savings plan for 10 year anniversary trip;
- Family: (1) Visit my father weekly (and call daily) to make sure he is following his Slow Carb Diet.
- Homeowner: (1) Look at municipal setback regulations for stone wall/barrier; (2) Fall cleanup / maintenance
5. Personal Renewal
In addition to the tasks/roles above you should also devote some time to “personal renewal”: Physical, Mental , Social, and Spiritual. Identify 1-3 tasks for each one of these areas each week.
- Physical: Gym x2; Run x3; Nutrition
- Mental: Learn a new Language; Read a book
- Spritual: Go for a solo Hike; Play Guitar; Meditate; Review mission statement, roles, & goals.
- Social: Attend Networking Event; Go out for lunch with co-workers
5. Schedule your activities
Using a calendar, task list, or other time management tool, schedule all of your activities and try to do them all.
Fans of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” should download my Free iOS app to help with their weekly planning.